Sept. 23, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 2
BC to Honor Alumni Sept. 30
Rev. Nicholas A. Sannella '67, who put aside a career as one of the Boston area's top vascular surgeons to become a parish priest, and Elisabeth Filarski Hasselbeck '99, the new darling of network television talk shows, are recipients of Boston College's top two alumni awards for 2004.Fr. Sannella, Hasselbeck and eight other University graduates who have made significant lifetime contributions in a variety of professional fields will be honored at the annual Alumni Achievement Awards ceremony to be held Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. in Robsham Theater.
Fr. Sannella will receive the William V. McKenney Award as the University's outstanding alumnus and Hasselbeck will receive the Young Alumni Award for Excellence.
A member of the Board of Trustees since 1993, Fr. Sannella graduated from Boston College in 1967 with a degree in biology. Four years later he received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and in 1984 added a law degree from Suffolk University School of Law. He served his surgical internship and residency at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston and headed up a private practice in vascular surgery from 1976 through 1999.
In September of 1999, Fr. Sannella put aside his medical career to enroll in Blessed John XXXIII National Seminary in Weston. He was ordained in June of 2003 and is currently associate pastor at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield.
Filarski, who was captain of the Boston College softball team that twice won Big East Conference championships, graduated from the University with a degree in fine arts.
In 2001, she was selected as a participant in the popular CBS television series "Survivor" and advanced to the final four of the reality show's survival competition in the Australian Outback.
Her television presence and outgoing personality earned her a spot as a co-host on the ABC-TV daily show "The View," where she has cultivated a reputation as the voice of conservative and compassionate young women across the nation. Speaking at last month's Republican National Convention, Hasselbeck delivered a strong speech in support of breast cancer prevention and research. She has worked extensively with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and numerous other charities.
Other alumni who will be honored next Thursday are:
Joseph Connors '66 (Arts and Humanities Award) - Director, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies and professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.
Richard Syron '66, Hon. '89 (Commerce) - Chairman and CEO, Freddie Mac, the second largest source of mortgage finance in the United States.
James R. Powers '33, MA '34 (Education) - Founder of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association and chairman of the Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston.
Judith Krauss '68 (Health) - Professor and deputy director of the Program for the Study of Health Care Relationships, Yale University School of Nursing.
Lauren Stiller Rikleen JD '79 (Law) - Partner, Bowditch & Dewey LLP, and head of the firm's Environmental Law Practice section, which has played a pivotal role in the clean-up of some of the nation's most environmentally dangerous sites.
Matthew Vossler '84 (Public Service) - Founder, Swim Across America, a fund-raising effort for cancer research, and partner at Heritage Partners International, an executive search firm.
Rev. Gregory Ramkissoon '81, MA '82 (Religion) - Founder of Mustard Seed Communities, a service organization that assists children of HIV/AIDS patients in the Caribbean region.
Daniel Downey '70, PhD '76 (Science) - A physicist who helped develop the building blocks for modern computer systems. -Reid Oslin •